Are you a mosquito magnet? Do you feel as though you get bitten triple the amount as the significant other or best friend you are always hanging around? Some people win the mosquito lottery and can go throughout the summer months without a single bite while others are not so lucky. Jonathan Day, a professor of medical entomology at the University of Florida calls the unfortunate group “high attractor types.” Studies show about 20% of people are especially irresistible and fall under this category.
So what are the reasons you are so different to mosquitoes than the other person sitting next to you? There are several things that make you the more alluring option.
- Carbon Dioxide — Mosquitoes track their victims by following a steady output of carbon dioxide. Larger people will expel a higher amount of carbon dioxide when exhaling and mosquitoes can track breath from over 50 yards away. Pregnant women are also often at a higher risk as they emit higher levels of carbon dioxide, too. There’s no good way to actually avoid this though other than holding your breath, so to avoid getting bitten it is sometimes best to just head inside.
- Heat — Mosquitoes will take a bite where the blood is close to the surface, so common target spots include wrists, elbows, the neck, and forehead. People who are overheated or who just finished working out are targets as well as they will have blood closer to the surface throughout their entire body.
- Clothing — Avoid wearing any dark colors, dark denim, or all-black outfits as they stand out to mosquitoes. Red will also attract their attention as well as moving targets.
- Body Odor — Your natural body odor can attract or repel mosquitoes based on your genes. Mosquitoes love certain scents that are on the surface of the skin. Lactic acid, uric acid, bacteria, and sweat are a few of their favorites, but each individual’s chemistry plays a role as well.
- Beer — Although based on a smaller study, it has been suggested that drinking a bottle of beer could make you a target for mosquitoes. The study of 13 volunteers found that mosquitoes were more likely to land on subjects who recently guzzled a beer. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) experts say there’s no good evidence that consuming certain foods or drinks ups your risk for bites though.
The best way to avoid mosquito bites is prevention! Keep in mind that mosquitoes are more active during specific times of day, especially during dawn and dusk. Get rid of stagnant water and keep your grass trimmed. Wear thick clothing to print piecing through fabrics and keep your clothing colors on the lighter side. Use bug repellant containing DEET. Also, consider calling 877-DEAD-BUG to implement our Preventative Mosquito Service (PMS) on your property to protect your family and enjoy your backyard more!